NEW YORK FOLKLORE QUARTERLY
Vol. III, No. 2, Summer, 1947
PETER PARROTT AND HIS SONGS
PETE’S HOME is in Redford, Clinton County, New York,
but I met him and listened to him sing in Au Sable Forks.
He is a carpenter—and painter—and cement worker, and
he told me to tell you he’s “jack of all trades and master of none,
and . . . the craziest darn fool that ever lived.” Maybe—if being
crazy makes a man able to sing one song after another for two
hours solid. I listened that long, and Pete declared he could go on
singing all night without repeating.
Peter Parrott is American-born, but his father was French-
Canadian and passed on to his nine children his love of singing.
Pete estimated that three-quarters of the songs he knew he had
learned from his father, beginning when he was about eight years old.
He acknowledged that he knows a few square dance calls and can
play the “violeen,” accordian, and mouth organ. As he had none of these musical instruments with him, however, he spent the
three evenings singing hit-or-miss as the songs occurred to him,
repeating patiently for me the ones I wanted to copy down. ...
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